Active Monitoring
Active Monitoring Active Monitoring is the way to check the site performance by simulation of visiting by real users.

Active Monitoring is the way to check the site performance by simulation of visiting by real users. It is done by external service, usually with distribyted networks. The checking servers create the requests like the real clients, who are trying to download a web page. Doing it on regular schedule, allows to check if the page is available from the web. If not - there is a possibility to catch and report the error. The difference between the bot and a real person is visible only for bulky pages with lots of content - in order to save the traffic, monitoring systems usually download only a part of such pages, which is enough to make sure the site is Ok.

Active monitoring is an independent eye on your site. The checking is not connected to your company and web hosting, and so provides the clear third-party view of the situation. HostTracker service uses active monitoring to supervise web sites.

  • CM.Glossary.WebsiteMonitoring
  • CM.Glossary.Downtime
  • CM.Glossary.DistributedMonitoring
  • CM.Glossary.PassiveMonitoring
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I like to know when my services are down, and how much time does it take to recover.

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- LP
Monitoring domain and SSL certificate expiry dates

▶ Monitoring domain and SSL certificate expiry dates.

▶ How to activate the SSL certificate monitoring tool and domain monitoring settings?

▶ It takes only several minutes with HostTracker. 

So many domain names are lost in this fashion. The domain name holders have their names taken away by others, simply because they miss the renewal alerts and they do not notice when their domains are not running the show anymore. Although the whole system for domain name holders is not very practical or sensible, reality confirms that dropping a domain name is a significant problem nowadays. Anyone who holds a domain name is very much prone to losing it, ranging from big corporations, like Microsoft, to small private firms. Trying to solve this problem, HostTracker has developed utterly useful tools that highly increase the chances to reach 100% uptime.

Controlling tools

Registrars are obliged to keep the registered name owner always updated on the status of a domain and must notify of the impending expiration at least two times. One of these notifications must be sent about one month prior to expiration and one must be sent about one week prior to expiration. But “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not”. That’s why a lot of very bad things keep on happening. For instance:

  • Alerts go to the spam folder;
  • Responsible employees are taking time off work;
  • Or just there is something more important that should be solved just at this moment and the domain renewal is put off for the better times.

Problems like these occur very often.  Moreover, when we face them - no one can recall the timing of the registration, the timing of payments, the cards from which the money was written off etc.

Are you getting the idea that it’s truly important to pay attention to this stuff? Use HostTracker tools. The service will monitor your domain/SSL certificates for many different status changes, such as when a domain becomes registered, when it drops and becomes available, when it's renewed and everything. You can enable automatic summary reports that are emailed on a daily / weekly / monthly basis (or at any interval you choose). The reports can include renewal dates of registration and any other useful information and can be sent, for example, via SMS, email or a Skype. These instruments are also fully configurable and can be used together or separate with regular uptime checks.

Domain Monitoring Service Settings

Applying domain monitoring settings takes several minutes:

simply enter the domain name. You can click on "Add list" to monitor more than one website. You may also configure additional options by clicking on "Subscriptions" bar:

  • “Up” - the domain renewal notices are emailed one month, 7 and 3 days prior to expiration.
  • “Down” - you are notified that your domain name has already expired.
  • “Repeat” - you receive alerts every day until you renew the domain name.

Put tick marks next to the contacts of people, who should be informed in case of any problems.

If you want to be notified not only by email, but also by other messengers (Skype, Viber, Hangouts, Telegram), add them in the "Add Contact" bar or in the "Notifications" menu on the main page screen.

How to activate the SSL certificate monitoring tool

Since Google announced that they’re going to be using whether or not a server uses SSL as a ranking signal, the number of people interested in purchasing SSL certificates has skyrocketed. Why are SSL/TLS certificates so beneficial? 

The idea of using SSL/TLS certificates is crystal clear, as it is a type of encryption used for securing web sessions. HTTPS keeps both your websites and your customers' personal information private and secure. As when a SSL certificate is used, the information becomes indecipherable to everyone besides for the server you are sending the data to. This protects it from "domain slamming", "email phishing" attacks and other harmful activities.

Therefore, it is vital not to miss SSL/TLS certificates expiry dates. Both domain monitoring and SSL monitoring instruments are operating alike and have the same configuration, which includes:

  • Sending renewal notifications 30, 7, and 1 days prior to certificate expiration.
  • Sending instant reports when security certificate is becoming “off”.
  • Reporting daily about the necessity to renew the SSL/TLS certificates.
  • Selecting groups of contacts who can be informed in case of a crisis/emergency.

With activating the two monitoring functions in the Business or Enterprise packages, or in a trial mode, you’ll be always aware of the certificate or domain expiry dates. Or at least, in case of unintentional domain losses, you will be eager to know the reason when, why and how it has happened and sort out the problem.

HostTracker is client-focused

That’s why one of our founding principles as a company included remaining flexible and adaptable, as well as open to improving our service. As the technology world changes, we’ll be ready to make quick, minute adjustments, add new tools and implement new features to improve our product.

Many of our features and enhancements are available online and have been minted due to the customer requests. Therefore, we are looking forward to hearing your feedbacks, suggestions and new creative ideas.

 

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Home > Blog > Domain

Every year, millions of domain names are lost. What happens after domain expires? How long will your domain wait for you before someone grabs it? And how to omit this?  

Monitor your domains for any changes. You can keep an eye on the state of available domains which you like, but don’t forget your own ones too. There is a wide variety of services, like HostTracker, which provide an easy, efficient way to track any changes of domain’s state.

Domains: do they have afterlife?

Everyone may face the problem of losing the domain name. Every year, millions of domain names are lost. Mostly, it happens unintentionally, the owners miss the renewal notices for various reasons and they do not figure out that they are in the process of losing their prized domain until it is too late! In this article you will get to know about the most known examples of domain expirations. Moreover, we will see that big companies, such as Microsoft, Foursquare, Yatra, are also insecure to "the drop game". Additionally, you will find out how to keep the domain name if you forget to pay for domain renewal. How long will your domain wait for you before someone grabs it? And how to omit this using HostTracker's Domain expiration and Certificate expiration functions?

How Microsoft lost hotmail.co.uk

One of the most striking examples of dropping the domain name ocured in 2003 due to what is called the collective negligence. In spite of the fact, that people were trying to check up on what was happening and somehow to deal with the problem, Microsoft behaved as a typical bureaucratic organization. It turned a blind eye to people inquiries. Despite being warned that it’s time for the domain renewal, Microsoft overlooked these notifications. Therefore, the domain was returned to the pool of available domains. Moreover, its mail service wasn’t accessible in England.

Luckily, the domain was grabbed at once. The new owner was so kind that tried to inform Microsoft immediately that they needed to re-register the domain and restore the service. Nevertheless, Microsoft didn’t seem eager to get their site back and ignored these messages. Microsoft realized the issue just when journalists contacted it.  Only then, the software giant reached a new owner of their domain. What is more, even after that, during a long period of time Microsoft had been stalling for time before the problem was sorted out. It seems that no one in the UK could deal with the problem, because only the central office was responsible for domain registrations.

Fortunately, hotmail.co.uk was regained. But still, Microsoft didn’t officially confirm that hotmail.co.uk had been dropped.

Only a registrar for all .uk domains shed light on this situation and born out that hotmail.co.uk had failed to be renewed despite being warned about the importance of the renewal procedure. Moreover, the registrar confirmed that the domain was snatched up by a private person. Apparently, all notifications via mail were ignored by the giant. It’s interesting that it wasn’t the very first time when something like that has happened with this company. In 1999, Microsoft had similar bad experience.

What happens after domain expires?

The procedure depends on registrar of the domain names. In addition, this procedure has changed many times over history. In this article we will be concerned with the most typical up-to-date procedure.

The first stage - the registrar shows loyalty to the client and gives extra time for domain renewal (grace period). Your grace period may take about from one to 2-3 weeks. This window can have a few deadlines - for example, a free update period, an additional fee etc.  When the domain is in a grace period where all services are shut off, it isn’t available for registration by anybody else.

The second stage - the auction. After the registrar is sure that the domain renewal hasn’t been done, he puts it up for auction. It's a registrar’s chance to bring in extra income- the domain can be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Let’s be frank, it works- many domains are snapped up at auction. Let’s look at some of the most popular auctions:

  •  Go Daddy Auctions
  •  NameJet
  •  SnapNames.com

Each registrar cooperates with only one of these auction services. Domain names are exclusive to one auction, as the sell-off can’t take place at two locations. How does the auction work?

To begin with, there is often the opportunity to place a backorder. For example, if someone is very interested in scoring your domain name. In this case, the buyer will get the notification about the expiration status of the target domain and, definitely, leverage this opportunity. It’s worth noting that during this period, domains can be included in backorder auctions, where another participant can bid on your domain name. Generally, an auction can consist of several stages, as well as, after the main auction can follow the closeout of least desired domain names.

In addition to this, there are such sites that collect information and provide it in a more convenient way. For instance, these sites will help you to discover that more than 3 million domains have expired for the last 10 days. Furthermore, you will realize that even expensive (costing up to $ 500K) domains can be dropped after a while.

The third stage - domain "death". The domain disappears, and it can be retrieved on a common basis. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely if a domain name has any marginal value, as well as, consists of unambiguous words and is well-promoted. If so, the domain will probably get purchased, as nowadays it is also kind of business.

Some extra good examples

In 2010, a well-known website Foursquare forgot to renew their domain name. Luckily, they noticed this in time and quickly sorted out the problem. Nevertheless, customers couldn’t reach the site during this period of time. At that time the internet was bombarded with these news, yet the company has taken the advantage from this situation.

However, sad examples do exist too. In 2012, a popular Indian travel site Yatra.com, with millions of visitors and huge income, dropped their domain. Therefore they lost not only money, but also their reputation, clients and the trust of their partners. Eventually, the domain has been restored. The company hasn’t been as successful since.
Such common experience has held almost everyone once in a while in their history, from banks to giant companies.  Actually, HostTracker had such experience too and it was the reason why we decided to write this article.

Web site monitoring service almost lost its domain

The truth is that host-tracker.com was almost lost despite having an instrument for keeping an eye for an expiration date and sending renewal alerts. Actually, this feature became HostTracker’s last resort, as all domains and sites are being monitored by HostTracker’s own monitoring system. In a manner of speaking, even though at that time the HostTracker company got the renewal alerts, everything seemed to be fine, as the auto-renewal was on. However, for some reason, the automatic payments didn’t pass through and the domain wasn’t renewed. To be honest, we are still not sure why did that happen, as their support could not explain the issue clearly. Luckily, we noticed the problem in time and solved it quickly.

To sum up:

  • Renew your domain in advance. In this case you might want to ask your registrar to set up your domain to auto-renewal in advance with your approval beforehand. Moreover, you will be notified in case of any problems.
  • Backorder does work. Just before HostTracker entered their grace period, someone had tried to contact HostTracker by mail to acquire the domain name. So pay attention to such things!
  • You would better not enter the grace period. Once the domain expires, it can be easily renewed at the regular price within a few days and HostTracker showed this. The disadvantage is that all customers will be greeted with the message that domain page isn’t available. You should never allow a domain to expire because working on recovering it can take a vast amount of time.
  • Monitor your domains for any changes. You can keep an eye on the state of available domains which you like, but don’t forget your own ones too. There is a wide variety of services, like HostTracker, which provide an easy, efficient way to track any changes of domain’s state. Check out the description of such HostTracker’s tools here in our blog.
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